The Good

The Bad

Jerry O’Connell top lines this interesting show in which he plays Quinn Mallory. A man who “slides” between parallel worlds with his his trusty comrades Wade (Sabrina Lloyd), physics professor Arturo (John Rhys-Davies) and Rembrandt Brown (Cleavant Derricks). Basically, Quinn has found a portal that lets him jump into different “earths.” He and his crew stay the same but of course everything else around them changes. Along the way they encounter tornadoes, wizards, warlocks and a host of other things that keep this show very interesting. Now, I know this may sound a great deal like Quantum Leap, and sure there are the obvious similarities, but I genuinely found that Sliders - The Third Season was pretty well done. This show moves at a very solid pace. It never seemed to get bogged down in anything too “sciency”, but at the same time I felt that I understood why certain things were happening. Also, the fact that O’Connell has a few people accompanying him on his missions, it changes the dynamic of how this show functions. He doesn’t have to be the star and furthermore the show can focus on things that happen to Rembrandt, Arturo or Wade.

All in all I found Sliders - The Third Season to be a very tight, solidly scripted and capably acted TV show.

Features

Gag Reel

This gag reel is cool but the quality is really bad. Why this is the case I have no idea, but it just seems odd that you have 25 seasons of a show that all look to be in pristine quality, but then you get to the gag reel and it looks like a bad VHS tape. There are gags for all the characters and you have a narrator taking you through it. What will happen is that the voice will say one thing in a very serious tone, and then something will happen on the screen to either underline or undercut it. This is where the comedy lies. Sadly, I just found the quality of the images to be so piss poor, that I wasn’t sure I got all of the intended humor. Also, with the bad images comes bad sounds so this makes things even more confusing.

Video

Full Frame. I am not sure what they shot this show with but I tend to think that it was very hi-definition video. This show sparkles on the screen. The images are all brightly lit with a decent balance between the shots inside and outside. I also appreciated the fact that this show wasn’t too darkly lit. Shows of this nature sometimes take a darker tone and sort of look to focus on the dark side of the people traveling. Thankfully, Sliders - The Third Season never did this. Sadly, my biggest bone of contention was how bad the effects looked. Especially the various portals that appear in the show. The main problem I have is that everything looks like an effect. At no time did I see things that made me think, “Man, that looks like it just organically appeared there.” I am not sure how much I can say that this detracts from the show, simply because the digital effects that are used are done so sparingly. Still, I would think that when you have a show that is popular enough and does enough good ratings to run for 5 seasons, you might eventually step things up in the visual FX department. I am curious to see the other seasons to see if the FX always looked this way or if maybe they got better later.

Audio

2.0 Dolby Surround. The fact that the acting on this show is good means that the sound design isn’t too crazy. There aren’t a ton of things going on to take away our focus on what these characters are saying. Furthermore, when the sound FX are used, they are done so sparingly. I think this has a lot to do with why this show worked for me. It didn’t bombard me with sounds or other such devices that were unnecessary. It just told the story from each show. I never felt like I had to strain to hear anything, and once I set the levels on my TV set everything played appropriately. I was honestly a bit skeptical before I was given this 4 disk set simply because this show seemed like another “sci-fi” bonanza that would ultimately leave me unsatisfied. Imagine my surprise when I realized that what it really was was an actor’s piece set to showcase the skills of this more then capable cast. This show is so well written and so richly done, that I hope that the people who created it are thinking about turning it into a motion picture for the big screen.

Package

A bit of a letdown, especially when you remove the plastic packaging. The cover has the 4 main stars with an orange and gray background. Alongside that it says Sliders and in the middle of the pictures of the cast it says “The Third Season.” This is it. There is nothing on the back cover to indicate how you are supposed to navigate around this DVD if you want to find the extras. It is easy enough though, because all you have to do is put in the first disk and it will tell you that the extras are on the 4th one. I think the packaging is the weakest part of this whole package. Granted, part of me is happy that it’s not packed with extras just for the sake of being packed with extras, I think the creators of this DVD set could have done a but more in the presentation department. Also, the way the disks are housed is a bit budget. The orange case is very flexible and as result the disks have a hard time staying put. This can be problem if they start scratching one another.

Final Word

There is something that is inherently unique and enjoyable about time travel. I don’t know what it is exactly, I just know that when I watch a show like Sliders - The Third Season, I become very engaged by it. Maybe it’s because these people are traveling around and time is standing still? Maybe it’s because in an attempt to try and figure things out, they end up being able to have some control over their past? I think we as viewers vicariously live through the characters in this way. We see what they are experiencing and we think to ourselves how we might act if we were put in a similar situation. Add to this that the other actors and actresses on the show are very good, and I think that this speaks to something else about Sliders - The Third Season. It is a very human show. You have people traveling around, trying to get home and while there are a lot of non-human elements involved, for the most part this show is just about people’s desires to be in the right place. Who can’t relate to that?

Sliders - The Third Season is a very solid piece of TV. I am hesitant to call it sci-fi television mainly because I think that term is very limiting to the show. As I said, there are sci-fi elements but on the whole I think that this show operates on a very emotional level.

Sliders was released .